Archive for October 2010

Why is the candid photography unique?   10 comments

As opposed to painting, photography requires a different set of skills, knowledge, and talent.  However, photography and painting share common concerns about composition, color and others.

There are many types of photography, but for the purpose of this discussion I’ve identified three areas that fundamentally have singular approaches:

  • Studio
  • Still Object
  • Candid

Even though these areas have numerous styles, conceptually everything depends on two things – freedom to create a desirable composition and the allotted time to accomplish it.


In studio photography there is virtually unlimited freedom to choose light, arrange objects and time frame.   With this luxury, studio photography developed sophisticated light manipulation and high resolution equipment. Artists, therefore, differentiate themselves in object arrangement and perspective.

Still Object

Still object photography does not allow the photographer to change arrangement and provides limited freedom to choose light. The use of time is up to the photographer with notable exceptions like the famous story of Ansel Adams’s “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico”. The allowed time gives artists the control to choose when to take a shot for the best possible natural or city light, as well as the ability to move to the location and choose a lens to capture perspective.  Setting up high resolution equipment is also a common practice.


Candid photography restricts freedom of composition the most and makes time an extremely valuable resource. The photographer has to develop strategies and intuition in order to predict composition. Under these conditions photographers develop skills that increase the success rate of their pictures. Candid photography heavily relies on chance. While failures are to be expected, you may discover a pleasant surprise once the picture comes into fruition. The gambling of image capture makes candid photography a truly unique art and my personal preference.

What is “the candid photography of strangers”?   Leave a comment

Even though it is hard to categorize artistic expression; I need to define the purpose of this blog.

The topics on this site are focused on images where people take an important role. The purpose of this restriction is more for photographic intent and not specific composition. Usually pictures have a foreground focused on people in order to imply story, or a single person for a portrait. However,  this is not necessary.

I am including an image where the person is in the background and out of focus.

Falling ice

In this image the man takes up a very small portion of the picture


Without people these photos wouldn’t be interesting or would have a different meaning.

Candid photography implies that people are not aware of the camera. Sometimes people stare right into your lens at the moment of the shot. Is this“candid”? I say “Yes.” This interesting issue will be addressed in my blog.

Chicago - Ogilvie Transportation Center

In this blog I will discuss the photography of total strangers. I never introduce myself or ask permission. This method presents an unique psychological impact that gives a special quality to many pictures.

I took almost all of these photos on the street simply because this is the easiest place to see strangers, but I’m looking for an opportunity whenever  I have my camera.

Lyric Opera

The topic of this blog encompasses a great variety of styles that have the common challenges and excitements of  “the candid photography of strangers”.